Six months on Uarbry still hurting from Sir Ivan fire

It’s almost six months since the Sir Ivan bush fire but those affected are still hurting, says BlazeAid.

The Sir Ivan bush fire started February 11 from a lightning strike. 

It destroyed 35 homes in Uarbry and the surrounding areas. It destroyed more than 55,000 hectares, according to NSW Rural Fire Service, as well as 5700 kilometres of fencing. The blaze killed 2000 sheep, 56 cattle, 90 goats and 36 poultry.

“There’s still a lot of hurting people because there’s still a lot of loss. There was $100 million worth of damage and there’s only about 100 people out here so that’s $1 million of damage to every property,” Mr Dawson said.

Laurie Dawson. Photo: ELOUSIE HAWKEY

Laurie Dawson. Photo: ELOUSIE HAWKEY

“There’s certainly some optimism as well in that we’re getting back to normal – a new kind of normal – but there’s still a lot of work ahead of them.”

At this stage no one who lost their home had been able to start rebuilding, Mr Dawson said, leaving a high number of people living in their sheds and caravans.

As expected, donations were also starting to dry up, the coordinator said.

“The local community here has been excellent in supporting those who have been affected. But what would anybody the other side of the Blue Mountains think of it? They wouldn’t, it wouldn’t be in their thoughts,” Mr Dawson said.

BlazeAid will keep their Dunedoo camp open until September 22, after which the organisation will move on to another location. Mr Dawson said their main goal was supporting the property owners with whatever they needed to get back on their feet. At the moment it involved building a lot stock sheds, he said.

“I’d like to see everybody get back to normal, but that’s going to be years. I’d like to see everybody get back to a new normal,” he said.

In the past six months there had been about 1000 volunteers at the site, Mr Dawson said. They had erected about 600 kilometres of fencing.